Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the importance of the trilateral cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt for ensuring peace and stability in the region.
“The trilateral cooperation is a foundation of peace, stability, and prosperity that Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus are consistently serving,” Mitsotakis said on Wednesday at a news conference with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Mitsotakis stressed that the Mediterranean could be a sea that unites people, instead of dividing them, through initiatives that create conditions for cooperation and peace.
In this context, Mitsotakis said that the agreement between Greece and Egypt for the partial delimitation of maritime zones constitutes a flagship initiative of cooperation to be further expanded.
Talks between the heads of the two countries also touched on the EastMed gas pipeline, a project in which “any country can partipate,” Mitsotakis said, “on the condition that it abstains from provocations and respects international law.”
On his part, the President of Egypt said that he agreed with the Greek Prime Minister on the need for a just solution to the Cyprus problem, based on international law. They also agreed on the necessity of finding a political solution in Libya, which will ensure peace and stability in the broader region.
Greece, Egypt to welcome more decisive US involvement under Biden
Greece and Egypt, two countries which angered Turkey by reaching an agreement on natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, will welcome more decisive US involvement in the region under President-elect Joe Biden, Mitsotakis said.
"Both Greece and Egypt will receive positively a more decisive role of the United States in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean," the Greek Prime Minister said.
Cairo and Athens sealed an accord for the partial demarcation of maritime boundaries in August, giving them rights over natural resources in the Mediterranean.
Mitsotakis said the accord showed that countries which respect international law and good neighbourly relations can achieve results to the benefit of their people. He said both Greece and Egypt were willing to expand the accord.
Turkey, which is at odds with Greece over overlapping claims to energy resources in the Mediterranean, says the pact infringes on its own continental shelf.
The agreement also overlaps maritime zones Turkey agreed to with Libya last year, which were declared illegal by Athens.
Tensions between the two NATO allies flared following the accord, after Turkey sent its Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel into disputed Mediterranean waters.
Ankara pulled out the vessel in September to allow for diplomacy with Greece but then sent it back to the area.
On Wednesday, Greece said Turkey's new naval advisory from Nov. 11-23, engaging an area for seismic activities, was provocative and urged Ankara to revoke it immediately.
"We agreed to continue our solidarity, alongside all friendly countries, in order to confront anyone who threatens regional stability and security, and in a way that prevents any party from imposing its hostile positions," Sisi said.
Biden will further lay the groundwork for his new administration on Wednesday as President Donald Trump pursues a flurry of lawsuits challenging the results of the Nov. 3 election in an effort to cling to power.